How To Create Facebook Ads That Convert
Placing Facebook ads with the intent to convert requires a unique approach, one that is much different than trying to get more Page likes or build brand awareness. Rather than just simply putting your brand in front of people, you need to convince your audience that behind that call-to-action button is an extremely valuable offer. With an ineffective strategy, you could be flushing advertising budget down the toilet.
Research Your Personas Really Well
Before you can convince people to buy from your or convert on your website, you need to understand who they are. Using market research and existing customer data, research your personas and compile profiles that include their:
- Job title
- Hobbies and interests
- Preferred source of news and updates
- Pain points and challenges
- Typical types of Google searches
The results from your research should drive the entire direction of the campaigns, from the copy, to the creative, to the offer.
Avoid Targeting Broad Interests
Choosing the ideal audience is probably trickier than you might think. Most advertisers select a combination of interests and demographics which sound like they might align with their target personas, but how accurate are those interests?
To provide some context, take a look at your own ad preferences, or what Facebook thinks you're interested in. Notice any interests that seem out of place? Probably. That's because Facebook mines this data from a number of sources, including your Facebook activity, other online activity, the information you share with businesses, and your location. We can't expect algorithms to understand us the way real people do.
Instead of choosing broad interests like "business" or "food," look for niche topics that only someone who's truly interested in it would be part of that audience.
For example, if you're targeting outdoorsy type people, rather than selecting "Outdoor recreation" as an interest, choose something more specific like "tents" or "trekking poles." A great way to explore audience criteria is to use the Audience Insights tool.
Pro tip: When choosing your targeting settings, be sure to include people who like your Page because these are individuals that already trust your business.
Segment Your Campaigns
The more accurately you can address your customer's pain points, the more likely they'll be to convert. After thorough customer research, most businesses discover that they don't have just one single persona. They've got different variations that are in unique scenarios with separate pain points.
So why target them all with the same ad? Create separate campaigns and ads based on their characteristics and the challenges they face. However, be cautious of any overlap! You don't want the same person to see two different ads with two different offers. In the Audiences tool you can check to see if any individuals are part of multiple audiences.
Double Check Your Pixel
The only thing worse than not tracking your conversions is not tracking them properly. Make sure you've selected the appropriate conversion pixel and that it's installed correctly on your site.
View the source code on your checkout page or thank you page (not the landing page!) and do a search for "Facebook Pixel." At the end of the code you'll see the event you're tracking. Keep an eye on your Pixel dashboard every few days to ensure it's firing.
Less "We," More "You"
People don't read ads. They read what interests them. So your ad copy shouldn't focus on what your business or product does. Instead, it should tell your audience what it will help them achieve. Some of the fundamental benefits that most people seek are ways to:
- Save time
- Save money
- Grow their business
Dig down into that underlying value you provide and share it explicitly in your ad copy. Be cautious of how many times you use the words "we," "I," "us," and "our."
Create a Custom Landing Page
Where do users land upon clicking through your ad? Inexperienced advertisers typically direct them to their homepage. Just like AdWords, Facebook analyzes your ad and provides a Relevance Score, which is partly derived from the correlation between your ad copy and the destination URL.
So unless you've already got a web page that matches the ad copy you plan to use and has a simple method for users to convert, creating a custom landing page instead. This will not only earn you a stronger score and thus improve your delivery, but also create a seamless user experience.
Carry over the same images, colors, and verbiage to prevent your customers from having to search the page for what they were promised in the ad.
Why wait until the end of the campaign to determine which elements of your ads are working? Run a split test on every Facebook ad campaign, but make sure you're only testing one element at a time. For example, run two identical ads but use different:
- Landing pages
Choose the Right Image
Your image is the first thing people will notice upon scrolling by your ad so it's important that it's high quality, unique, immediately engaging, and relevant to the offer. A note about using stock photos:
In general, corporate office-type high-fiving stock photos aren't very relatable and lack an emotional response. The types of images that tend to stop people in their scroll include food, children, and photos of real people, but the type of image that's going to resonate with your specific audience will depend on your persona research.
Undercut Your Competitors
If your potential customer sees two ads for similar products from competing vendors, what's going to be the deal breaker? Usually it's the price or promotion.
Use a free tool like AdEspresso's Ad Examples to spy on the ads your competitors are running and undercut their offer. If one competitor is offering a 10% discount, offer your customers 15%. If another competitor is giving customers free shipping, incentivize your ad with free shipping and returns! When it comes down to comparing numbers, the better offer or price will always win.
Be Up Front About Price
If you're selling products online through your Facebook campaigns, be transparent about the price up front in your ad. This way, you can save money on wasted clicks by anyone who's not willing to pay your price, and you can ensure the individuals clicking through are further down the sales funnel, thus more likely to convert.
Don't Forget to Retarget
It usually takes 6-8 touches until an individual becomes a sales-ready lead. But showing the same ad over and over can get annoying and actually encourage your lead to hide your ad.
The individuals who have clicked through your ads, visited your website, downloaded a content offer, or opted into your newsletter have already taken a step in the right direction and indicated that they trust your brand. Retarget these people with a brand new campaign. Your retargeting campaign should be extremely specific to their current situation.
Here are a few ideas to takeaway for your Facebook retargeting campaigns:
- An abandoned cart ad
- Copy to overcome price aversions
- A special offer or promo code
- Instill a sense of urgency
Wait... then Analyze the Results
If you've followed the tips above, your ads are optimized to convert. Once you publish an ad, let it run for at least one week (depending on your delivery schedule) before delving into your data.
You need to let enough people interact with your ad before making any assumptions or changes.
Here's a quick way to to analyze your results: Sort your ads by cost per conversion. The lower the cost per conversion, the better. Review the ads with a high cost per result to identify any opportunities to improve the ad or audience.
What's your biggest challenge in driving conversions from your Facebook ad? Let me know in the comments below.
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By Peter Dulay
Peter Dulay is a conversion expert with over 10 years of experience in digital advertising and conversion. He has helped many startups and fortune 500 companies to boost their conversion by 400% and more.